Kiddie Lit Blogposts from the OVL Children's Room Staff

Please email comments or short articles about children's books to: jham@clamsnet.org
 


         


‘EARLY CHAPTER BOOKS’ FILL THE GAP
 
Are your children at that ‘in-between’ age –ready to read books that are more difficult than ‘Easy Readers,’ but not quite ready for longer ‘J Fiction’ chapter books?  Well, fortunately, in recent years, more and more publishers are offering what librarians often call ‘Early Chapter Books.’

So while Easy Readers like the Frog and Toad series (by Arnold Lobel), and the Henry and Mudge series (by Cynthia Rylant) are and will always be worth the read, here at the Osterville Village Library we have just the booklist you’ll need to guide your young readers into some really-excellent-but-still-not-too-hard-to-read books.

These Early Chapter books are full of adventure, mystery, and fantasy; many are about children just like your children; and many are just plain funny. Many are series, so children can read one, then read more!  Plus, many of these Early Chapter books are written by highly-regarded children’s authors, like Kate DiCamillo, Jane Yolen, and Shannon Hale, so your children can enjoy these books and soon move on to longer, well-written chapter books.

Stop by our Children’s Room for a copy of our Early Chapter Books booklist.

 

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THIS BOOK HAS NO WORDS?

           

What good is a book without words? If you are, like me, a fan of wordless picture books, you would say that many books without words are marvelous indeed. These include old classics like Anno’s Journey (Mitsumasa Anno)…new takes on old tales like The Lion and the Mouse (Jerry Pinkney) … and recent stories that transport the reader to new places, like The Red Book (Barbara Lehman).

And then there is the considerable body of work of David Wiesner, a three-time Caldecott award-winning author/illustrator worthy of being near if not at the top of many people’s ‘best of’ lists. From Free Fall to Flotsam to the unforgettable flying frogs in the book Tuesday, Weisner’s… artistry and imagination no know limits.

You can see Wiesner's influence in the picture books JourneyQuest and Return, by Aaron Becker. Even without the words, or perhaps because of the lack of them, I can ‘read’ wordless children’s books over and over, and still have the pictures tell me an ever-deepening story. books, JourneyQuest and Return, by Aaron Becker. Even without the words, or perhaps because of the lack of them, I can ‘read’ wordless children’s books over and over, and still have the pictures tell me an ever-deepening story.

Let your child discover the magic of wordless picture books; let them discover their own  stories in the pictures. To find out more, check out this GoodReads listor visit us!  Browse our collection, request books from other CLAMS libraries, and try our David Wiesner’s innovative picture book app, called Spot, on our Makerspace iPad. 


 

A MOMENT WITH AN OLD FAVORITE


 
How often is there one clear moment when you turn from one path to another? For me that moment came in the dusty basement stacks of the cavernous UConn library. This was, I will tell you, back in what some call the ‘golden age’ of children’s books (meaning children’s writers and illustrators were writing not for fame or fortune, not for series contracts or movie rights--they were earning low pay and laboring in relative anonymity because they had stories to tell).
 
While searching for picture books for a Children’s Literature course assignment, I pulled the book Dawn,” by Uri Shulevitz from the shelf. I sat down and read it. It didn’t take long. I read it again, reveling in the simplicity of the watercolors and the gentle story of a boy and his grandfather.

I thought: “If talented artists like Uri Shulevitz can give themselves over to the lowly picture book form, I would consider it an honorable use of my time if I could connect children to such good books.” That was the thought, and I have been happy to consider myself a part of the world of children’s books ever since.

Can you believe this world has buildings full of books in them, books that you can borrow, for free? Come take a look--you never know what one book can do.